Yaya Diaby – Senior – DE- 6’3 – 263 Lbs. – Draft Expectation: 3rd-4th Round
Yaya Diaby wasn’t recruited much out of high school, due to what experts deemed a ‘small frame’. If you take a look at Diaby now, that’s laughable.
Diaby came to the Cards after a standout sophomore year at Georgia Military College. He was ranked as the #21 JUCO player in the nationat the time, after putting up 77 tackles and seven sacks in two seasons at GMC.
Diaby spent the next three seasons at Louisville slowly growing into his body. By his senior year, it looked like Yaya had eaten a Mario mushroom and doubled in size. That increased weight gain propelled him into a stellar senior season that saw him flirt with double digit sacks, recording nine on the year.
And that production caught the eye of many NFL teams.
But, it was his incredible testing at the NFL Combine and his performance at the Senior Bowl that has really seen his buzz grow.
Diaby ran a 4.51 40-yard dash, and had an eye-opening 1.56 10-yard split. That 10-yard split was the second fastest among edge rushers, just behind Nolan Smith, a projected first-round pick who is 25 pounds lighter than Diaby.
SHEESH. That’s insane move, and it shows why his impressive 10-yard split is so important. He’s ridiculously explosive off the line.
After an impressive Senior Bowl and combine performance, the Louisville fan favorite is officially on the radar of nearly every NFL draft analyst. CBS Sports has Diaby ranked as the 164th ranked prospect on their 2023 NFL Draft Prospect rankings.
Based on that ranking, Diaby should be drafted around the 5th round, but Diaby plays a premium position and has garnered extra buzz over the past few weeks. I expect Diaby to be drafted even higher than that ranking.